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Get with the mask program 

It is very disturbing that SLO County is reopening and welcoming crowds of tourists from virus hotspots without a mask order in place. A business may request that patrons wear masks, but there is no way to legally require them. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of disease should be alarmed at the crowds in Pismo Beach or Morro Bay where mask use is hit or miss and social distancing is completely ignored.

I have contacted our local health department several times to inquire why no ordinance is in place here and received only an apathetic response, which was utterly lacking in any factual basis. That is, I suspect, because there is no excuse, no reason, and no facts to support this abdication of responsibility.

Both Santa Barbara and Monterey counties are taking this seriously and have mask orders in place. Why is SLO County Public Health Director Penny Borenstein dragging her feet? Our public health department should be taking reasonable measures to safeguard our community. A new study from the University of Cambridge and the University of Greenwich finds that "even homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public." It's time for Dr. Borenstein to get with the program.

Stacey Avelar

Grover Beach

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